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iPhone App Review: Health through Breath – Pranayama

iPhone App Review: Health through Breath – Pranayama

October 30th, 2010 by

Pranayama is a form of breathing that can supposedly promote better health, relaxation, and has numerous benefits for the body and mind.

Health Through Breath is an app that is designed to help the Pranayama practitioner learn the proper methods of breathing in order to fully realize the benefits of this ancient aspect of yoga.

How It Works

The app is entirely designed around using it as a breathing guide for practicing Pranayama yoga.

The main screen has a large “Begin” button that launches exercise customization screen. From here you can select the length of your exercise, the breathing pattern you would like, and the timing of each breath. Once you press “OK” you are taken to the main exercise screen, where you press the large Play button and get started.

While breathing you can view one of two animations that graphically demonstrate the timing and flow of your breathing: a clock dial-styled animation or an animated human body. There are also distinct audio cues to let you know if you should be breathing in, out, or holding the breath.

The app also includes a a log of your activity and some basic instructions.


  • Health Through Breath has a gorgeous, intuitive interface.
  • The breathing animation is especially helpful, especially if you crank the “transparency” slider to full so you can see the breath move in and out of the body.
  • There is a VGA output for the exercise screen.
  • Simple interface that is easy to understand with minimal direction.


  • The app is very light on Pranayama details. Some more information, background, goals, etc., would be easy to add and very welcome.
  • The VGA output from my iPhone 4 to my TV was a bit tricky to get started. BUT, to be perfectly fair, this may be an issue with my TV, cabling, etc. It seems tricky to even get the native Photos app to display on the TV sometimes.
  • The animation would be handy to see before starting the actual exercise, just to visualize what you’re about to do.
  • The “music” included in the app seems to be simply the musical breathing cues. These are great, but it would be better to choose your own music from within the app but still have breathing aural breathing cues.


The app is a terrific one as it is, with plenty of room to improve and become even better. It’s universal, meaning it will work natively on the iPad and other iOS devices, which I always appreciate as a great thing for a developer to do.

As it is now it’s a wonderful introduction and guide for Pranayama, and with some small improvements could become even better.

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